Almost everyone in the office knows what a toxic colleague looks like. These individuals can bring the whole team down by being negative, lazy, vindictive, gossipy and more. When such employees achieve managerial positions, they can easily increase the staff turnover rate because their subordinates do not respect them as leaders or find it hard to work under them. It is pertinent that you come up with a plan before approaching a toxic employee so they do not influence the rest of your staff in a negative way. Here are a few tips to deal with toxic employees:
Hire the Right People Right from the Start
One of the best ways to avoid having a toxic employee is to not hire them from the start. Everyone tends to put his or her best face forward during the initial interview, thus you must be strategic when vetting these potential candidates. Ensure that the potential hires interact with one or more employees at your company, so that it allows you to spot potential issues. Additionally, check for references and keep a look out for red flags in their responses.
Let Them Go
If the behavior of the problematic employee does not change after being approached, there is really nothing left to do. Hence, you will have to let this employee go. However, firing such employees may not be an easy task and you must think ahead before letting them go. Many managers in the corporate world are hesitant to fire toxic workers because they feel these people are most likely to sue. Hence, you must make sure you have proper documentation on hand and have done everything to facilitate the termination smoothly. For instance, you may want to put together a severance package.
Conduct One-on-One Sessions
When you have determined that you are really dealing with a toxic employee, you will need to confront the person without delay. When you do, it is imperative that you keep the conversations result-oriented. You will have to set an improvement plan and specify what you expect from the employee. Do not just say that you want their attitude to improve. Remember to reference specific instances where the person acted negatively and discuss why this behavior cannot be tolerated.
Document their Negative Behavior
You should encourage all employees who hold supervisory roles to take note of a toxic employee’s behavior and even record it in employee management software. These vital pieces of information will provide managers with specific examples when that employee needs to be confronted. It will be helpful to write down their behaviors and discuss why those were inappropriate in your company and how exactly did they violate the company standards.
Plan Before Taking Action
It is pertinent that you plan everything out properly before taking action. You should take a moment to consider the impact that was caused by the employee’s detrimental behavior. You should consider whether overall productivity was affected, how they influenced other co-workers and if their actions differed drastically from company standards. Finally, consider whether confronting them will have a positive impact on the company. Sometimes the toxic employee may not be toxic at all. Could it be that the person who made the complaint was overreacting?